Jun 11, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT
If there is anyone that you should be rooting for in college hoops, regardless of where your fan allegiance lies, it’s Kansas forward Jamari Traylor.
His story has been told multiple times. To make a long story short (even though you should take the time to read one, or both of those links), Traylor found out that his father got a life sentence for cocaine trafficking when he was a freshman in high school. It sent him on a downward spiral that, eventually, got him kicked out of his mom’s house and forced him into homelessness for about a year.
If you think you’ve experienced a cold, Chicago winter, imagine spending it sleeping in the back of a rusted out Buick. It got to the point that Traylor was going to school simply so he would have something to eat. With the help of a local high school coach, Traylor was able to pull himself off of the streets and, eventually, to IMG Academy, which led him to Lawrence, KS.
It hasn’t been the easiest two years for Traylor at Kansas, as he had to redshirt his freshman year because he was academically ineligible and spent much of last season glued to the bench.
But that’s a breeze compared to what Traylor’s already been through in his life. He’s appreciative of his opportunity, enough so that he broke down in tears as he was introduced to a crowd of kids at a Kansas basketball camp this week.
“That’s coach Self. He knows me. He’s proud of me. It’s good for him to share that with the kids, so I understand,” Traylor told KUSports.com’s Gary Bedore. “Sometimes I just get emotional in talking about it. It’s crazy. Little kids look up to me. My life can inspire other people, so it’s a little touching to me.”
Last week, we took a look at the Kansas program and how they have become so successful at developing players at the college level. Self should expect nothing less from Traylor, who is a terrific athlete that has a high-level motor and doesn’t have an issue with working hard to improve.
He may make the NBA one day, and he may not. But the bottom line is that he is an inspiration, an example that even those in the worst situations can make it out.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:21 PM EDT
Iowa State can win next season, but they lose a ton of talent after 2016.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:11 PM EDT
Maverick Rowan is down to six schools.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Arizona filled a staff position after the departure of Damon Stoudamire.
Jun 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
Michigan is getting healthy as they move towards what looks like a promising 2015-16 season.
Jun 1, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Noah Dickerson is still available in the Class of 2015.
Jun 1, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT
Kuran Iverson will be available right away for Rhode Island.
Jun 1, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
Do you believe him?
Jun 1, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT
Austin would have been better off keeping his mouth shut.
Jun 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Jun 1, 2015, 10:26 AM EDT
Georgetown fans, I know you all have some responses.
May 31, 2015, 8:06 PM EDT
Coleby averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season.
May 31, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
Mosquera-Perea will sit out the 2015-16 season before using his final year of eligibility in 2016-17.
May 31, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT
Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith and Georgetown head coach John Thompson III are among those who spoke out against them.
May 31, 2015, 4:18 PM EDT
Northwestern now has two commitments in the Class of 2016.
May 31, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT
Steve Fisher wants to get rid of the one-and-done so players have the freedom to go straight to the NBA
May 31, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
The Pangos All-American Camp continued on Saturday.
May 31, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
UNLV commit Derrick Jones won another dunk contest. Surprise, surprise.
May 30, 2015, 9:50 PM EDT
Both winners will play in the ACC next season, as Louisville signee Asia Durr was named Girls National Player of the Year by the magazine.
May 30, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT
Gonzaga beat out Georgetown and SMU for the 6-foot-7 forward, who will have two seasons left to play after sitting out 2015-16.
May 30, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
According to one report, the Bulls could have their new head coach by Tuesday…or Wednesday.
- Hoiberg to Chicago means Iowa State has everything riding on hiring right replacement 0
- Brandon Austin’s latest mistake: using the media to try and garner sympathy 2
- Former Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III transfers to Gonzaga 2
- Reports: #FredHoibergWatch takes another step forward 0
- #FredHoibergWatch officially commences today, as Bulls fire Thibodeau 3
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban 43
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer 7
- There’s only one way the NCAA gets UNC investigation wrong: a 2016 postseason ban (43)
- Four men’s teams banned from 2016 postseason due to APR scores (10)
- Report: Class of 2016 four-star wing considering college among playing options for next season (5)
- Auburn center Trayvon Reed released from jail (5)
- Amidst Iowa State rumors, Jeff Hornacek discusses commitment to Phoenix Suns (5)